19 Dec 2009

Photographing Movement: Conclusion

This part of the course consisted of a number of exercises centred around the basic functions of the camera to remind us of how aperture and shutter speed affects the photograph.  In conclusion the course notes ask us to display a couple of photographs from each of the two series which we like.  The photos that I have chosen were both taken with the formal exercises in mind but haven't been published by me yet.

Firstly I have chosen a shot of a moving van from the panning exercise.  The image shows a grafiti covered van driving at speed under overhead wires and past a house.  The graffiti suggests that the van comes from a troubled neighbourhood as it has been tagged, possibly by a gang who mark their territory in that way.  Taking the van into the wrong area with such a tag might be dangerous.  Best viewed enlarged, the effect of panning has rendered the two people in the cab sharp bringing them to the attention of the viewer.  They could be Chinese immigrant workers and they look intense with concentration or concern, both staring straight ahead.  It gives the image a slightly unnerving quality, particularly as the exaggerated feeling of speed gives the impression that they are driving too fast for comfort.

Truck - 1/30, f18, 45mm, ISO50

My second photograph comes from a recent set that I took whilst exploring the advantages of shutter speed to enhance and add realism to my photography.  It was taken from back stage at the Death Metal gig of a band called Bloodshot Dawn.  Metal music involves a 'uniform' of long hair, black clothes and exaggerated movements such as the wind-milling of hair whilst head banging.  A great way to emphasise this in a still photograph was to use a slow shutter speed to create blurring.  I was also shooting through the drummers equipment to give an impression of the chaos and rawness of the music and I particularly like the decapitation of the performer of Death music by the cymbal\symbol.  I chose a short depth of field to put this equipment out of focus and bring the lead singer into centre stage where he belonged.  So in this one photograph I was able to combine several techniques from the previous exercises to achieve the shot that I wanted.  It shows the guitar player in the middle of a complicated riff, concentrating on his fingering whilst still whirring his hair round and round in the classic death metal style.

Metal -  1/30, f1.8, 50mm, ISO640

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